Reflection - September 23, 2018

Beacon of Hope
Commitment Weekend

“They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
‘What were you arguing about on the way?’
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest. 
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
‘If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.’”

It is here! The Beacon of Hope Commitment Weekend has arrived. As a community, I believe we have done our best to discern our needs, listen to the feedback given by our members and adjust our priorities, and present our case for support prayerfully and as clearly as possible. In a very special way, I want to thank our Campaign Directors and the close to 80 members of our Campaign leadership team. Also, our staff has done a terrific job of balancing campaign work and the ongoing ministry needs of our community. I am especially grateful to God for this moment in the life of our community. In the midst of the ongoing crisis in the Church, the faith of those involved in our campaign and of those who have already pledged or given has been a bright spot for me. It is amazing to see. 

From the beginning of the campaign, I have had a profound trust that God will provide for what He wills for us to accomplish. The only way this happens is through your cooperation with God’s plan as you are able: proportionally to your means, generously with joyful giving, and sacrificially out of love. It is clear that the money to reach our goal over 3-5 years is present in our community. It is a profound and humbling reality, however, to experience the faith choice many are making to give their very hard earned money to support our community’s ministry, outreach, and service to others. Many of you have never been asked to consider giving at the level we have asked you to consider. Many of you have never given before at the level you have pledged. This is nothing short of a miracle: God’s grace, through faith, in action. 

Foundational to this campaign is the steadfast belief that Jesus is our true Beacon of Hope. It has nothing to do with status, individually or as a community, but is all about the mission God has given us. We are only here because of what Jesus, sent by the Father and empowered by the Holy Spirit, has done for us and for the whole world. Each of our lives, our precious time, our varied talents, and our financial resources are essential to our mission. We cannot do what God has called us to do without, first, recognizing God’s great blessings in our lives and, second, the participation of each of you. It takes all of us through our small and big decisions to make manifest God’s love in our community and world. Every one of you has a significant, even essential, contribution to make for God’s purpose. 

The Beacon of Hope campaign is not about who is greatest, but about how through the miracle of your faith and your giving, we as a community can become the servant of all. As a beacon of hope, we do not shine our own light, but the light of Jesus Christ, to those who are wounded, searching, marginalized, or lost. May the light of Christ, the true Beacon of Hope, shine through us.